At what point does a tooth need a crown rather than a filling? This subject is one that patients often have with their dentist, and for good reason. A dental crown is a larger investment, and affects more of the tooth than your average straightforward filling. Here are 3 signs that you are past the point of being able to have a filling performed, and need a crown to help keep your tooth healthy:
#1 – Constant food packing in the tooth.
If decay is large enough that significant amounts of food pack down into it after each meal, then a filling most likely will not be even closely adequate for restoring your tooth. Fillings are best for small areas of decay that have not compromised multiple surfaces of a tooth.
#2 – You can’t eat on that tooth.
Pressure, or pain associated with eating certain foods is keeping you from chewing on that side of your mouth. Whether it’s a crack in the tooth, or severe sensitivity to particular foods, then the structure of the tooth is probably compromised to the point where it cannot functionally withstand use without being crowned. There must be enough healthy enamel to support a filling; cracked and significantly compromised teeth won’t hold up even with the best filling.
#3 – More than half of your tooth is visibly gone.
You can see it yourself…a giant portion of the tooth has broken off of the tooth or is gone, and there’s significantly visible damage. In order to place a filling, there has to be adequate amount of surrounding enamel to support it. Severe fracturing won’t hold a filling in place, and if a filling is attempted it can continue to fall off.
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
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